Spring Forward

  • Panelled walls and cofferred ceiling, were designed and installed to satisfy the clients’ craving for architecture more commonplace in stately east coast homes. The sunburst mirror is a “placeholder” to enjoy until a large scale piece of artwork is purchased.
  • Art: Oil painting by artist Michelle Armas provides a counterbalance to the geometric prints on the furniture and pillows.
  • Kitchen: The all-white kitchen gets its drama from dark stained 5” wide rift cut white oak floors, with a Rubio Monocoat oil finish. The table and Navy chairs are Restoration Hardware.
  • Dining Room: White panelled wainscotting is handsomely paired with a Phillip Jeffries grass cloth (Manila Hemp Graphite 3444). The head chairs, backed in raspberry, create a flow of colour from room to room.
  • Children's Bedroom: Fiorella likes to take her colour cues from the clients—pink and green are obviously a favourite combination for the girls (age 4 and 6) in residence.
  • Family Room: “We rotated the kitchen and removed walls so all the rooms face the back yard and pool area.”

When clients moved from Connecticut to sunny Menlo Park, it didn’t take them long to shed those extra layers required for warmth back home and embrace their new lighter California lifestyle.

The designer created a blend of east coast-west coast that would respect her client’s love for architecture with a pedigree and inject a more playful west coast palette.

The result? Springtime, year round.

Photography by Frank Paul Perez

GoldenEye

  • Furnishings, like the bamboo and wicker drumtables and stone coffee table are simple and organic in shape. Classic Panton chairs tuck under the dark wood chess tables.
  • Black frames on a white bead board wall display images of Bond author, Ian Fleming at GoldenEye.
  • The unassuming white-washed bungalow with cedar shingles is perched atop an oceanfront cliff that leads to a private beach.
  • Sustainable wood furniture connects the interior to nature.
  • The textured ceiling gives the whitewashed interior a more intimate scale.
  • As the author said himself, “Don’t on any account fool around too much with colours. Keep everything white inside.”
  • Fleming's original desk (the one at which he wrote 14 James Bond novels) still resides at GoldenEye.
  • The villa also features a private outdoor spa bathroom surrounded by tropical foliage, blooming trees and bamboo fences.

 PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGELA AUCLAIR

A Tour of the White House

Image Credit White House Museum

Image Credit White House Museum

American royalty, the White House is arguably the most iconic home in the US.

1.5 million visitors tour the White House each year, but they see only a handful of the 140+ ground and mansion areas. It is broken down into three sections, the East Wing where the Emergency Operations Center resides, the West Wing, where the Situation room is, and the Residence, a four-story living space.

In total, the White House has 132 rooms, including 16 family-guest rooms, 1 main kitchen, 1 diet kitchen, 1 family kitchen, and 35 bathrooms totaling approximately 55,000 sq.ft. It also features 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplace mantels, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators.

During the War of 1812, the White House was completely demolished by fire with most of the valuables being ransacked by British troops, leaving only the exterior walls standing. President Madison hired architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe and Hoban to lead the charge on the rebuilding project. When Teddy Roosevelt came to office in 1902, he decided the White House needed to be expanded and modernized due to overcrowding and an outdated appearance. He selected McKim, Mead & White to remove the Tiffany screen and all Victorian additions and replace everything with a neoclassical style that wasn’t popular with most subsequent Presidents.

Out of respect for the historical value of the house, no substantive architectural changes have been made since, but many have taken turns redecorating and refurbishing to make the residence more in tune with their personal style. Jackie Kennedy, who decorated all the rooms by theme and periods of world history, made some of the most significant changes.

We’re here to give you a quick tour of some of the most interesting interior design features of America’s first family.

Blue Room
The center of the State Floor, the Blue Room is known for its breathtaking view over the South Lawn and oval shape, the perfect area to receive guests. The elliptical saloon was decorated in the French Empire style by President Monroe with its most striking element an early 19th century gilded-wood and glass chandelier encircled with acanthus leaves. Blue satin geometric draperies are hung with a border of gold rosettes that match an equally extravagant carpet. Furnishings are heavily corniced and the ceiling is painted in fresco, adding to the richness of the space.

The Blue Room

The Blue Room, 2009 (Image Credit: Reuters)

Oval Office
The President’s formal workspace, the Oval Office has hosted a number of important diplomats, dignitaries and heads of state through the years. Each President has decorated the room to suit his tastes, but the most consistent features that remain include a white marble mantel that’s been there since 1909, two flags, and the famous Presidential seal on the ceiling.

The Oval Office

The Oval Office, 2010 (Image Credit BBC – Reuters)

Vermeil Room
Also known as the “Gold Room,” the Vermeil room serves as a display room and, for formal occasions, a ladies sitting room. More subtle and feminine than most of the other rooms, soft yellow paneled walls accent a collection of vermeil, gold-plated silver, a gift from Margaret Thompson Biddle. The carpet is a Turkish Hereke from around 1860, chosen for its pale green background and gold silk hues. Other prominent accents include early 19th century mahogany pieces like a circular table and a pier table, plus an impressive ten-armed cut-glass chandelier and scroll sofa.

The Vermeil Room

Vermeil Room, 2008 (Image Credit: Architectural Digest)

 

Green Room
Originally envisioned to be the “Common Dining Room,” the Green Room has served many purposes over the years from lodging to entertaining. Still featuring green water silk-lined fabric chosen by the Kennedys in 1971, draperies of striped beige, green and coral satin adorn the walls of the Presidential Parlor. All the accessories are gilded and ornate including a pair of hand-carved American eagles, a favorite decorative motif of the Federal period.

The Green Room

Green Room, 2008 (Image Credit: Architectural Digest)

Lincoln Bedroom

In a room Lincoln never actually slept in, the Lincoln Bedroom is part of a suite of rooms that hosts overnight guests and political supporters. It has been furnished in Victorian style since the Truman renovation and is rumored to be haunted. Famous furniture includes a commanding 8 by 6’ rosewood bed with canopy, slipper chairs, sofa, and cabinet chairs. Featured prominently on the desk is one of only five holographic copies of the Gettysburg Address. The room was updated in 2004 with an opulent white marble mantel, canopy carved in the shape of a crown, and deep emerald green, yellow and purple draperies.

Lincoln's Bedroom, 2007 (Image Credit: Newsweek - Gary Fabiano)

Lincoln’s Bedroom, 2007 (Image Credit: Newsweek – Gary Fabiano)

Southern Style

  • In a sheltered corner of the front porch, a hanging teak daybed with plentiful pillows becomes an inviting swing. Obsidian coloured paint for the floors and shutters combines playfully with melon coloured upholstery.
  • A pair of antique tête-à-tête sofas, an eighteenth-century mirror, and a chandelier with cascading strands of ball chain provide the parlor with a sexy, sophisticated air.
  • Homeowners Lisa and Vincent West were enamoured of the simple style of the cottage and the airy atmosphere of its high ceilings and two-story porch. It’s very much a traditional Lowcountry house.
  • At the suggestion of interior designers Carter Kay and Nancy Hooff, the dropped ceiling was removed, exposing the original longleaf pine joists and trusses. In addition to lending a casual appearance to the room, the change also draws attention to the solidity and integrity of the house’s original construction.
  • Primitive creamware jugs and convex mirrors are among the few decorative accessories in the room where a scenic mural painted by Bob Christian provides the art.
  • In keeping with the client’s pared-down vision, the designers commissioned a twelve-foot-long table made from worn but polished reclaimed chestnut boards, complementing the unpainted wood of the ceiling and mantel. Chairs consist of casual wicker with linen slipcovered headchairs.
  • In a small bedroom, the designers created an airy look with contemporary metal beds that recall the tall canopy frames of traditional plantation-style beds. The sheen of quilted polished cotton pillow shams and comforters contrasts with the room’s natural linen coverlets and seagrass rug.

Isle of Hope, a tiny island outside Savannah, is an enchanted place with quiet streets, charming cottages, no streetlights and quaint oak trees blowing in the southern breeze. What’s your hurry?

Sit a spell.

“The house told us what it wanted us to do.”

Photography by Susan Sully from Houses with Charm.

 

Peek a Boo Wall Feature

Junior League

Drywall isn’t the only option when it comes to dividing and defining spaces.

Check out this peek a boo wall feature we designed to visually separate a master bedroom from the adjacent bathroom.

Our goal was to visually define and separate the two distinct spaces but allow the natural light that pours into the bedroom to filter into the en suite. A simple, cantilevered shelf acts as a dressing table with the addition of a slipper chair upholstered in grey velvet.

 

 

Drama in the Bedroom

Love drama in the bedroom?

Issue-4-Home-Tour-Kahi-Lee-copy 2

Wait. That doesn’t sound right.

You know what we mean!

Dark walls, faux fur throw and handsome leather make this bedroom designed by LA’s Kahi Lee rugged enough for him and sexy enough for her.

How do you feel about dark walls in the bedroom? Have a fave colour?? 

Reality Check on Choosing Bedding [VIDEO]

Join design contributor Nyla Free as she shares insight on creating the perfect bedroom. It all starts with selecting the right bedding.

Brighten Up Your Bedroom

Feeling the January blahs?

One way to perk up your mood is to perk up a room in your house. Why not your bedroom? Often, the bedroom gets neglected in our decorating plans because it’s a room fewer people see.

Originally aired on Cityline.ca on January 22, 2013.

Sweet Home à la Savannah

  • LEFT: Southerners revere hospitality, according to interior designer Lynn Morgan. Her historic Savannah row house clearly has its own open door policy. RIGHT: The foyer’s gilded Federal style mirror keeps a watchful eye on the well-appointed living room.
  • Sunlight pours through dramatic six-over-six, double sash windows, filling the gracious living room with an inviting warmth.
  • The kitchen’s beadboard, painted in pale blue, extends from the countertop upwards and into the glass display cabinets, providing a subtly colourful backdrop to dishes on display. To ground the busy kitchen and its painted surfaces, Lynn introduced dark stained, oak countertops.
  • Playful green upholstered chairs with white, contrast piping gather round the painted dining table.
  • Lynn’s fondness for Caribbean colour finds its way into her sun-filled master bedroom. A crisp white coverlet, cashmere throw and downy pillows provide the layers of comfort required for sleeping. The bedroom walls are painted Benjamin Moore’s Mountain Mist.
  • Adjacent to sleeping quarters is a gracious dressing room, separated by glass doors. The frosted panes soften filtering sunlight.
  • High-gloss white paint draws attention to the handsome baseboards and trim throughout, especially when contrasted with the matte finish used on walls.

Set in Savannah’s historic oak-lined district, the Greek Revival row house was originally built in 1853, likely a family home for a successful shipping magnate. Determined to strike her own pose with the redecoration project, Lynn Morgan was unencumbered by the home’s luminous past.

Instead, she created a thoroughly American interior by hitting the proverbial “refresh” button. Rather than rely exclusively on French and English antiques, the designer incorporated found pieces, painted furniture and humble garden elements, creating an easy, welcoming mix. Lacquered white furniture, saturated colour and bold graphics infuse the public spaces with joyful energy.

Striking pattern is used strategically to create interest in key areas—most notably the checkerboard floor pattern in the kitchen, the bold stripes in the dining room area carpet and the blue zigzag ottoman in the living room. Subtle pattern, like the beadboard in the kitchen and the sisal area carpet in the living room, creates texture and provides a foil to glossier finishes.

Dabble Savvy: Use a dark lampshade, like the royal blue bedside lamp with a narrow opening at the top and wider opening at the bottom, to force light onto the surface of a good book (as seen in the Master Bedroom).

Lynn’s Style Tips

Keep it simple. Glamour and sophistication go hand in hand with simplicity. Lynn suggests removing something from every finished room.

Mix it up. Texture and depth are byproducts of contrast. Mixing finishes—lacquered trim and matte walls, sisal carpets and high-gloss wood floors—enlivens a scheme.

Be an original. Don’t feel compelled to follow the past. Be fearless and set a contemporary tone that speaks to you personally.

Paint it white. For striking architecture or furniture with great bones, a coat of paint is transformative.

 

Saving and Splurging

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With cooking, the thrifty chef knows when ordinary olive oil suffices and when it’s necessary to uncork the ‘good stuff’ After all, fine olive oil can be rather expensive and there’s no point wasting it on junior’s chicken fingers. The same principles that stretch the family food budget also invigorate the household decorating fund. There are simply times when you must splurge to create the impact and impression desired and thankfully, other times when it’s perfectly reasonable to save a few dollars.

Where to splurge

* Fine sheets and bedding are the last thing you feel as you drift off to sleep and the first thing you’re aware of each morning. Don’t settle for anything less than the absolute best you can afford. You’ll enjoy them for many years.
* Couture pillow fabrics transform even generic bedding into custom style. To create an 18’ square pillow you’ll need .75 yards of fabric, so go ahead and splurge.
* Quality upholstery is always a smart investment. A classic chair can be repurposed into any room in the house.
* Original art is a worthwhile investment that injects a room with the homeowner’s personality; a key ingredient for truly successful design projects. Although you’re likely to spend $200 and up for most oil paintings, there are other affordable options such as photography and water colour. Attend local art fairs and watch for college art students to showcase school projects at annual events.

Where to save

* Ready made draperies are a considerable savings and work beautifully, provided windows are a relatively standard size and shape. Visit retailers that carry a vast selection of fabrics and headings to choose from. Before purchasing, you’ll need to measure your window including the window size and its exact location within the full wall.
* Affordable lamps are available at large retailers across Canada. Home Depot has an excellent selection. Lamp bases often stay ‘current’ longer than the lamp shades they sport. Update the shade to create a new look for a fraction of the cost of a new lamp.
* An upholstered headboard in an affordable linen or cotton nets a substantial savings when compared to solid wood beds. You won’t sacrifice an ounce of style and you’ll love this if you read in bed.
* Garage sale finds are instantly renewed with a spray painted finish. Opt for fresh white to improve the style quotient. Add new hardware and you’ll save big without skimping on style.
* Accessories are readily available in any price point so here’s an area where you can save big. Wait for sales, buy end of season remains, and source retailers such as Home Sense for great bargains.

Sponsored By: Air Wick Freshmatic

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Shelves for 3 Rooms

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In the bathroom
Convenient hooks hold back scrubbers and drying towels at the ready.

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In the living room
Create a sophisticated display by styling shelves with leather books and vintage silver.

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In the bedroom
Keep styling simple in restful spaces like the bedroom. Vintage tins and milk glass underscore the country theme.

Read the entire article ‘Quick Tip Chix – On the Shelf’ in Issue 8 of Dabble.

Lazy Days of Summer

  • Looking to renovate their Kiawah Island vacation property, a Connecticut couple turns to designer Erin Glennon (RIGHT) to create a space that is vibrant, clutter free and suitable to rent to occasional guests.
  • In the foyer, a whitewashed Shaker style console with distressed finish handles hastily tossed keys and provides an ideal perch for sea glass lamps. Stacked orange boxes complement the sea green colour of the lamps and provide additional storage for smaller items such as flashlights or even beach-ready flip-flops.
  • LEFT: Sophisticated colour pairings and nautical details, like the navy and white valance on the window, combine to provide the master bedroom with the desired coastal style. The rustic bench at the foot of the bed and Moroccan area carpet add texture and comfort without being too formal. For the upholstered headboard, Erin opted for a practical Sunbrella fabric in a crisp white.
  • Undaunted by previously dark and dated interiors, Erin added painted white beadboard wainscotting to the living room, simultaneously enhancing the room’s natural sunlight and adding architectural interest.
  • White’s such a useful colour for providing a backdrop to the vibrant hues and patterns so well-suited to vacation living. “Now the living room reminds me of a Jack Johnson song—relaxing but not boring,” says Erin.
  • The biggest challenge may have been the dining area. It’s a pretty tight space and yet it needed a table large enough to seat 6 people. In addition, two of the three walls are sliding glass doors, which meant we had to sacrifice a serving buffet. We used the large scale print to anchor the space and create the room’s dramatic focal point.
  • “Don’t fuss. Keep it casual with a collection of mismatched vases.”
  • Aesthetically this room reflects a slightly more rustic interpretation of the Kiawah landscape through the textured banana leaf headboard, antlers and plaid woolen throw. The small portraits above each bedside table are by local artist, Alaina Michelle Ralph.
  • “A bed that sleeps more than one person should always have an end table on each side, no matter how small,” insists Erin.
  • The Kiawah Island, South Carolina property overlooks a lagoon with ocean views beyond. Though their vacation property is four states away, the owners say the setting is a perfect antidote to cooler New England temperatures back home.

Dabble Savvy: To create a cohesive colour story, lay all fabrics on a large table and consider the flow and harmony from room to room.

“I really like the idea of furniture blending into the walls to create an airier feeling in vacation homes,” says the designer.

First Bedroom Featured
The wall colour, Benjamin Moore’s Natural Elements, reads as a light neutral but actually changes as the day goes on, becoming more greenish-blue. “This is one of my favorite wall colors,” says the designer. “I use it to create bedrooms that are, above all, restful.”

Dabble Savvy: A portrait adds a personal element to a room, especially when it’s an original piece rather than a print.